Controversial Toronto Politician Appointed Director of Brooklyn-Queens Streetcar

Posted On Tue, July 19, 2016 By

Posted On Tue, July 19, 2016 By In Policy, Transportation

The Post is calling him the “Canadian Anthony Weiner,” and it’s just been announced that he’s the new Director of the Brooklyn-Queens StreetcarAdam Giambrone ran for mayor of Toronto in 2010, but had to drop out after leaked text messages ousted him in an affair with a 19-year-old college student.

Sex scandal aside, the 39-year-old is a former Toronto city councilor, a position that allowed him to chair the Toronto Transit Commission from 2006 to 2010. During that time, he advocated for a network of suburban streetcars called Transit City. It was shot down by Mayor Rob Ford, but construction has since begun on portions of it. According to NY Mag, Giambrone then went on to serve as a traveling light-rail expert in Montreal and Milwaukee.

brooklyn queens connector streetcar 11

Giambrone officially assumed his position as director of the BQX yesterday, for which he’ll receive a $160,000 annual salary from the Economic Development Corporation. He told NY Mag, “The subway was a 20th-century technology. Streetcars are a 21st-century technology, which is why all the fastest-growing cities in Asia and the Middle East are all looking at them.” He feels that the transportation mode is the best compromise between long, expensive subway projects and “provisional” busses that likely won’t influence development. His main responsibility will be to get local residents on board with the streetcar and answer their questions about issues such as construction, loss of free parking, street rerouting, and fares.

brooklyn queens connector streetcar 10

City Hall spokesman Austin Finn said of the new hire: “We welcome Mr. Giambrone’s expertise planning and launching new streetcar lines. The BQX will be the first streetcar to ply New York City streets in roughly 70 years, and having someone with hands-on experience from North America’s largest streetcar system will be valuable as we undertake the project. We’re excited to have him join the team.”

[Via NY Mag and NYP]

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